The Best Websites for the Elderly With Depression

Depression is dangerous at any age, but can be particularly hazardous for seniors. These Web sites can help elderly people, their caregivers, and physicians identify the symptoms of depression that are unique to seniors, find a geriatric psychiatrist, choose the appropriate treatment and pay for it, prevent suicide, and find support groups.

SiteWho It's ForWhy We Like It
Geriatric Mental Health FoundationElderly people with depression and their familiesYou can search for a geriatric psychiatrist by name or location, and the site will tell you who is close-by and whether or not they are board certified in geriatric psychiatry. You can also take advantage of the foundation's "Depression Recovery Tool Kit," which includes a guide to paying for mental health services under Medicare.
Helpguide.orgDepressed seniors and their caregiversThis site highlights the aspects of depression that are unique to seniors. Read about the difference between grief and depression, which are often confused. Consider medications, such as arthritis and cancer drugs, that may induce symptoms of depression. Learn about some senior self-help techniques, including volunteering and exercising.
Mental Health AmericaCaregivers and health-care providers for seniorsThis provides an overview of things to think about when considering an elderly person's mental health. Suicide rates, for example, are particularly high among seniors. Some interesting statistics—about 58% of people 65 and older think depression comes with age—increase awareness about depression in the elderly.
Geriatric Depression ScaleElderly people who think they may be depressedThis questionnaire will help seniors evaluate their own mental health. Questions include, "Do you often get bored?" and "Do you often feel helpless?"
Suicide Awareness Voices of EducationCaregivers of elderly people with depressionThis site comprehensively lists warning signs to look for in a suicidal senior—such as a preoccupation with death or calling people to say good-bye—and advises you how to react. One suggestion: Begin by having an open and nonjudgmental conversation with the person you are concerned about.
Compiled by: Meghan Berry
Last Updated: April 21, 2008

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